How the spirit of the indigenous occupation of Alcatraz lives on
November 18, 2019 11:06 AM   Subscribe

In 1969, indigenous activists occupied Alcatraz Island, demanding that their treaties be honored. Fifty years later, they’re still fighting.

For most people, Alcatraz Island is nothing more than a San Francisco tourist destination — home to the infamous penitentiary and Al Capone’s jail cell. But for Kris Longoria, who prefers to be known by her artist name, UrbanRezLife, Alcatraz Island is home.

From 1969 to 1971, when UrbanRezLife was eight years old, she and her family were among a group of nearly a hundred indigenous activists who occupied the island, protesting treaty violations and boldly demanding sovereignty. Eventually, the occupation was forcibly ended by the U.S. government — but not before awakening the American public, igniting indigenous activism nationwide, and directly affecting federal policy.

posted by poffin boffin (3 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
...She left the stage to more applause. But when she left, she said, none other than John Wayne was waiting, ready to physically remove her. He had starred in exactly the kinds of films she had talked about.

“He had to be restrained by six security men,”

"Is that you, John Wayne? Is this me?"
posted by clavdivs at 11:44 AM on November 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Tommy Orange's There There goes into the Alcatraz occupation a bit as well.
posted by chavenet at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

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